This weekend: wind, earth, sky

Celebrate the winter with a nature-based outing this weekend.


Did you know there’s a new 73-foot-tall wind turbine at Jockey’s Ridge State Park? I didn’t, either. But there is, and you can learn all about it at Saturday’s Power of Wind presentation. A little talk indoors, then it’s out to the dunes to check out the turbine. And, to get a true feel for the power of wind, bring a kite to fly afterwards (or swing by Kitty Hawk Kites across the street and pick one up). Program starts at 2 p.m.

More info here.


Sometimes you want a mountainlike experience without heading to the mountains. If you live in the Triangle, that mountainlike experience can be yours Saturday at Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area in Hillsborough. At 867 feet, Occoneechee is the highest point in the Triangle, and a long-abandoned quarry operation has left a north-facing cliff unlike anything you’ll find in these parts. Perhaps the natural area’s most montane features, however, are found at its base, along the Eno River where you’ll find galax, mountain laurel, rhododendron and other flora more common to higher elevations. Saturday’s Geology Hike commences at 2 p.m. Free, but registration is requested, by calling 919-383-1686.

More info here.


There is no sky quite as expressive as the winter sky. Why? That’s a question to ask Sunday at the Elk Knob State Natural Area’s 4 p.m. Clouds presentation. A quick power-point about the various types of clouds and what they mean, then head outside to see what winter’s late afternoon clouds are trying to tell you. Elk Knob, located north of Boone, south of Jefferson, is a great spot for checking out clouds; at an elevation of 4,000 feet and being an exposed knob, you can see into Virginia and Tennessee — depending upon the clouds, of course.

More info here.

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Those are GGNC’s thoughts for an active weekend. Find out other ways you can get out this weekend by browsing our super calendar, a collection of events calendars from throughout the state, below.

Comprehensive calendar for the Cape Fear/Wilmington/southern N.C. coast searchable by date and event name.

Coastal Guide
Comprehensive calendar including nature programs from a variety of costal conservation and research agencies that offer nature programs. Covers the entire coast.

Crystal Cost Tourism Authority
Comprehensive calendar focusing on the Crystal Coast. Good source for programs offered by N.C. Coastal Federation, Cape Lookout National Park, N.C. National Estuarine Research Reserve and other costal conservation and research agencies that offer nature programs.
Comprehensive calendar including programs for the Outer Banks and Crystal Coast.

North Carolina Coast Host
Comprehensive calendar for the entire coast that lets you search for events by day, by region, by county, by city or by event (based on key word).

This Week Magazine
Primary focus is the Crystal Coast (North Carolina’s coastal midsection).


Asheville Citizen-Times
From the main page, click on “Outdoors,” then WNC Outdoors calendar.

Blue Ridge Outdoors
Searchable calendar lets you extend your reach to events throughout the mid-Atlantic and Southeast (or you can just limit it to North Carolina). Also lets you search a boatload of categories, ranging from Hiking, Mountain Biking and Climbing to Trail Running, Triathlon and Road Walking.

The Mountain Times
From the main page, click on “Calendars,” then Main Events.



Charlotte Observer events calendar
Comprehensive calendar searchable by category, including Nature, Recreation, Recreation & Wellness, Running

Charlotte Parent
Comprehensive calendar concentrating on things the family can do together.

Comprehensive calendar includes a Sports & Recreation category.

Piedmont Parent
Comprehensive calendar concentrating on things the family can do together.

Comprehensive calendar searchable by category, including: Birding, Boating, Cycling, Nature, Rec & Wellness, Recreation, Running, Swimming, Tennis, Yoga.

Carolina Parent
Comprehensive calendar concentrating on things the family can do together.


Office of Environmental Education
One calendar for the numerous Environmental Education Centers statewide.

North Carolina State Parks
Lets you search for programs at the state’s parks, recreation areas and natural areas by location, by month, by topic. To reach the calendar from the home page, click on “Education,” then “Fun & Free Programs at Parks.”

National Forests in North Carolina
From the home page, click on Carolina Connections for news updates on the state’s four national forests as well as hints on recreational opportunities and a detailed rundown of recreation areas and the amenities at each.

Photo: The winter sky, as it appeared late afternoon last Saturday on the Blue Ridge Parkway west of Mount Pisgah.

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